Memories of an Okie Boomer

Memories of an Okie Boomer

If you grew up in Oklahoma in the 60s and 70s, your eyes probably still light up when someone mentions horny toads and Foreman Scotty, Andrews Park and Owens Stadium. That’s why Bill Moore decided to write Memories of an Okie Boomer. After spending four decades working on newspapers and PR companies around the globe, […]

Memories of an Okie Boomer

(11 customer reviews)

If you grew up in Oklahoma in the 60s and 70s, your eyes probably still light up when someone mentions horny toads and Foreman Scotty, Andrews Park and Owens Stadium. That’s why Bill Moore decided to write Memories of an Okie Boomer. After spending four decades working on newspapers and PR companies around the globe, it seemed time to finally write about the important stuff. Well, stuff that was important to an “active” child growing up in Norman.

Bill humorously recounts - and with only slight exaggeration - an energetic Okie boyhood of bruises, bikes, stubbed toes and Monkey’s Blood, and playing non-stop from dawn to dusk with his best friend Steve in those brutal Oklahoma summers. Short and energetic - just like he was - Memories of an Okie Boomer will make you laugh and almost certainly bring back a couple of your best childhood memories.

$9.99

Snippets

‘Square’ Hands

I’d been overseas a long spell, working in journalism and public relations, when the Y2K computer bug threatened to collapse the world’s economy.  

It made me think about my heritage of blacksmiths and firemen, of cowboys and Indians ─ people who worked with their bare hands.

In the photo, that’s my strapping great-grandfather, Charles L. Moore, and his son, my grandpa, George Henry. 

Great Grandpa Charles was full blood Sac and Fox Indian by birth, and Potawatomi by marriage to full blood Rosa Lee Darling.  

They both went to the Haskell Indian School in Lawrence, Kansas, where Great Gramps learned the blacksmith trade...  

Surviving Two-a-Days Was an Absolute Miracle

Other than war, there is nothing more traumatic, more hellish for a young man, than Two-A-Day football practices. Especially in Oklahoma's brutal August heat, like when I played at Norman High School from 1971-1973.

Back then, as a tiny Tiger, my two-a-day breakfast consisted of a big glass of Gatorade, a piece of dry toast, and two Allerest tablets. Anything more and it would have come up during wind sprints. Anything less and I would have died of heat stroke or hay fever.

I can still remember every practice starting with calisthenics, coaches screaming and whistles blasting, followed by position drills.

Dean Blevins and our other quarterbacks would put on their pink dresses and go throw to the ends, before focusing their efforts on flirting with cheerleaders…

Putter-Onner-Thingees

As a public service to my fellow Okie Boomers, I offer this useful list of Okie-isms, mainly contributed by my Mom and my Dad's cousin, Sonny.

Hootis (n):  \who-tiss\

Pretty much anything.

My Dad, the shade tree mechanic, and Sonny often had this conversation while Dad was halfway under the car and his cousin was "supervising", i.e., looking down into the engine, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and offering helpful suggestions.

"Gene-o, you're messing up if you don't take off that hootis before you loosen the alternator belt. I'm just telling you."

To which my exasperated Dad would respond: "BANG (sound of his wrench slipping off a nut and bloodying his knuckles), followed by, "Take your #%&*# damn hootis and #%#&".

At which point they would break for a…

Colorado Kool-aid  (n):  call\or\add\oh\koo\laid. The beverage of choice (Coors beer) that my Dad drank by the tanker load…

The Awesomeness of Locusts and Horny Toads

We had a mimosa tree in our front yard on Nebraska Street, and half a dozen in the back. Every summer, the locusts would sing their heads off as they tried to suck them dry.

My next door neighbour, Eddie, and collected the old locust husks from the mimosa trees and fed them to Lady Dog, my beagle. She thought they were better’n pork rinds. 

We’d catch live locusts mainly at dusk. You had to be sneaky because they had those giant eyeballs.

I liked to grab their wings between my thumb and finger. Eddie would grab them with his whole hand, which I thought was insane.

I fully expected a locust to kill him dead one day, jamming its sucker spike right into a major artery and snorking out all his blood. It never happened, but I bet it could’ve.

Lincoln Park Zoo Rocked!

I was probably eight or nine years old when we made our first "expedition" all the way from Norman to Lincoln Park Zoo in Oklahoma City.

If memory serves, it was a 9,000 mile journey that took about three months.I was either with Steve, or my cousins, or all of them, and possibly a sister or two.

What's clear is that we were all psyched.

For years, we had been watching Bob Jenni doing guest spots on Foreman Scotty.

Bob was always handling snakes, Gila Monsters and other critters that would kill you dead if you messed up.

I was always glued to the TV when Bob was on, quietly rooting for the snake to get loose and maybe bite somebody, just a little bit…

BB Guns & Boys: Always a Bad Idea

Somewhere along the way, my Dad found an old, lever-action Daisy BB gun. 

It didn't have much power. Even so, I'm sure Dad had trepidation about giving it to me.

But it was free, and free was good back in the day. 

So, after I promised to never shoot at birds or dogs or kids or anything glass, he gave me the BB gun.

And pretty soon, of course, I started shooting at birds and dogs and kids and glass. 

Real Cowboyin’ in Tucson!

I died and went to heaven when the Ryans, our long-time family friends, bought a working farm in Tucson.

Even though vacations were only for “rich people”, somehow that summer we had enough money to go see their new Ponderosa.

Partner, from dawn to dark thirty every single day, I was doing full-on, sho'nuff, cowboy stuff, and having the time of my young life.

Early every morning, after a massive breakfast featuring a thousand pounds of bacon and a million pancakes, we were off to do chores.

Our first jobs were in a huge barn, packed with saddles and horses and pitchforks and dust and hay and lots of ropes…

Okie Moms Always Made it Better

Okie moms knew way more than doctors.

Bad tummy? Dry toast and flat 7 Up if you were puking. Chicken noodle soup with Saltine crackers if not.

Fever? A cool, wet washrag draped over your forehead. An aspirin hidden in a spoonful of grape jelly. And a mug of honey & lemon juice in hot water.

Stubbed toe or other pavement-related wounds? Magical and painless Mercurochrome (Monkey's Blood) if the wound wasn't too bad, but the hideous, stinging Merthiolate if it was.

Stings and bites? A touch of Campho-Phenique for mosquito bites, and a dab of bluing for nasty bee stings and ant bites...

Me and Foreman Scotty

If you grew up in Oklahoma in the Sixties, you HAD to watch the Foreman Scotty Show every day after school. It was the law.

The half-hour show featured Foreman Scotty, Xavier T. Willard, Cannonball and a whole mess of screaming kids.

If you were lucky, one day you got to be in the WKY-TV studio audience when the show was broadcast live.

If you were really, really lucky, and it was your birthday, you got to be on the show AND ride Woody.

I was exactly that lucky on my fifth birthday ─ March 15, 1961 (100% authentic invitation above).

It was the greatest day of my life, then the worst, then the greatest again, all because of Foreman Scotty himself…

Tennessee Walker & Whisperer

It's been 60 years or so, but I still remember that ginormous Tennessee Walking Horse.

We were at my Aunt Mackie's house on West 24th, back when that was wayyy out of town. I was maybe four or five, and probably about three feet tall.

The Tennessee Walker was the biggest thing I had ever seen. It probably stood 17 hands tall but looked as big as an elephant.

I remember having to look straight up to see my cousins in the saddle. I was awestruck. And then, it got even better. Somehow, I found myself in the saddle. Like John Wayne or something.

How I got there, I will never know. Maybe a helicopter was involved…

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11 reviews for Memories of an Okie Boomer

  1. Diana H.

    As a lifetime resident of Norman, OK this book was so much fun. People I knew, places I was familiar with and reminders of a great childhood were on every page. Anyone from Norman would love this book but anyone from anywhere would enjoy the reminders of adventures during childhood. Loved it!

  2. Richard J. Leaumont

    Wonderful book about a boys life in Oklahoma but paints humorous and sentimental picture that will invoke memories no matter what state you came from

  3. Amazon Customer

    Wonderful stories! A trip down memory lane. So much fun to read! Wonderful writing! Thanks!

  4. Zachary M Weigel

    Great read, written by a fellow Okie. I grew up in Norman in the 1980's and 90's. This book brought me back to my childhood. Funny story after story. Highly recommend.

  5. Russell B. Cooper

    I brought your book along to a little getaway this week and it was awesome.I have to thank you for such an awesome little journey back to Norman of yesteryear. I am not much of a reader so your short stories in this book were just what I needed, and they were spot on memories for all of us who grew up during this time. I would recommend this book to anyone who grew up in Norman in the 60s-70s. In fact, I would bet this book holds true for most people in the Midwest, just the names and places may have been different. Again, Thanks for a great read!

  6. Marilyn

    I loved Bill's book! I also grew up in Norman and really enjoyed the memories (bought an extra book to share as a gift). Looking forward to reading Bill's next book with more memories of growing up in Norman.

  7. ProudDad

    I think anyone who grew up around the 1960s will enjoy this trip down memory lane!

  8. Debra

    Having known the author all our lives I expected nothing less than stellar from him and he does not disappoint. It brought smiles and loud guffaws as I tripped down memory lane with him. It was so much more personal to me as I knew the characters in the book but all will enjoy reminiscing about that magical time in Norman . Give it a read you wont be disappointed!

  9. Susan B.

    Couldn’t put it down. A total joy to read.

    The author was a classmate of mine in high school, and is still a great Facebook friend. I knew this book would be awesome b/c of the way Bill writes his posts on Facebook telling his friends of his life in New Zealand. This book touched my heart in soo many ways. Bills writing is so descriptive, that in your mind you see what he’s writing about or transports you to the place. I couldn’t put it down. Bill, thank you for letting me go back to my days of innocence as a child in Norman, Oklahoma.

  10. Tktjtj

    Fantastic!

    Fun and great read!!! If you grew up in the 60 and 70 you will be able to relate to many fun stories the author tells!
    Bill Moore is a very talented and entertaining author with a great sense of humor! I highly recommend this book!!!

  11. Sudie (store manager)

    Just finished reading your book. I was laughing out loud so much my husband asked what was I reading! And I kept thinking, “Bless his mom's heart”! My dad also read it and said he found it delightful. Looking forward to the second book. Thanks for the entertainment!

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Amazon Reviews

Sudie
Sudie
5/5

Just finished reading your book. I was laughing out loud so much my husband asked what was I reading! And I kept thinking, “Bless his mom's heart”! My dad also read it and said he found it delightful. Looking forward to the second book. Thanks for the entertainment!

3 weeks ago
Tktjtj
Tktjtj
5/5

Fantastic!

Fun and great read!!! If you grew up in the 60 and 70 you will be able to relate to many fun stories the author tells!
Bill Moore is a very talented and entertaining author with a great sense of humor! I highly recommend this book!!!

4 months ago
Susan B.
Susan B.
5/5

Couldn’t put it down. A total joy to read.

The author was a classmate of mine in high school, and is still a great Facebook friend. I knew this book would be awesome b/c of the way Bill writes his posts on Facebook telling his friends of his life in New Zealand. This book touched my heart in soo many ways. Bills writing is so descriptive, that in your mind you see what he’s writing about or transports you to the place. I couldn’t put it down. Bill, thank you for letting me go back to my days of innocence as a child in Norman, Oklahoma.

4 months ago
Debra
Debra
5/5

Having known the author all our lives I expected nothing less than stellar from him and he does not disappoint. It brought smiles and loud guffaws as I tripped down memory lane with him. It was so much more personal to me as I knew the characters in the book but all will enjoy reminiscing about that magical time in Norman . Give it a read you wont be disappointed!

3 years ago
ProudDad
ProudDad
5/5

I think anyone who grew up around the 1960s will enjoy this trip down memory lane!

3 years ago

Bill Moore, Writer

Norman-born Bill Moore spent four decades as a newspaper reporter and P.R. guy, writing at least 900 gazillion words in Texas, Washington, D.C., Singapore and New Zealand.
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